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Category Archives: Social Media

Know Your Rights! How Employers Can And CAN NOT Use Your History Against You

If you pay any attention to national news, all you hear is: no jobs, economy bad, market struggling, jobs hard to find, double dip recession, down market, and did we mention no jobs? As an out of work labor force grows increasingly desperate, companies are being flooded with resumes and, therefore; hiring managers have the luxury of being quite choosy.

In order to thin the alarmingly huge herd of applicants, many companies are requiring prospective employees to submit to a criminal background check. These kinds of checks scour a person’s past and inform your future employer of any criminal activity associated with you, even stuff you’ve only been accused of can show up! It is important to understand what your individual rights are, so you don’t get unlawfully eliminated from your dream job.

What is and is NOT Legal
Even if you are one of the few Americans with a record clean enough to eat off of, chances are, you will still have to get a background check. If you plan on working in any kind of government job, expect to take one. Criminal checks for government positions are usually more extensive and involve livescan fingerprinting (which the applicant has to foot the bill for), so expect everything to come up. Other jobs in which you work with children, or the elderly will also ask their candidates to get checked out. Expect for them to look up your social media profiles as well, so watch how vulgar you get with your status updates while job hunting.

The specifics of the report will vary based on where you live, and the job you are applying for. Don’t worry though, there are some things from your past which won’t be visible in a criminal check. You can still maintain your innocent facade if any of these apply to you:

  • Bankruptcy that occurred more than 10 years ago
  • Civil suits and tax liens also vanish after 7 years
  • Anything from years prior that did not result in a criminal conviction

Basically if you had sketchy financial issues, but they happened a long time ago, you don’t need to worry. However, notice on the last bullet point that anything negative from years prior will not show up. This means that if you were arrested last week but were found innocent, that arrest will still show up on a criminal check. Bummer.

Along Came The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Slightly sketchy job seekers can rejoice. The EEOC recently revised their stance on criminal checks so that it was a little more clear about what was acceptable and what was not. They wanted to make sure that an employer knows that they cannot simply deny someone a position that has a criminal background. The conviction has to cause a threat to the company that is consistent with the specific details of the job. OK, so those guidelines are somewhat subjective but at least it’s a step towards transparency when it comes to the role of background checks in the hiring process. The two big things that came out of the recent EEOC decision are: 1) Employers must know the difference between a conviction and arrest. You are innocent until proven guilty. Hello, this is America! 2) Employers CAN NOT disqualify someone just because he or she has a record.

What these two facts mean to you: If you were arrested for something that did not lead to a conviction but were you denied a position based on the results of a background check, that is illegal. AND even if you were convicted, unless the nature of your crime directly corresponds to the job duties (like a delivery driver having a DUI) you can’t be turned away. If you are, that is also illegal.

What Does This Mean?
If you don’t have a record and aren’t looking for a job, then this does not affect you at all. You are now free to go about your day. But, if you are like millions of other Americans with a less than perfect past, this could mean being able to earn an honest living by actually getting hired.

The decision by the EEOC will also help combat racial profiling. Since white, wealthy folks generally fare better in the criminal justice system, African Americans and Latinos have a higher arrest and conviction rate (this does NOT mean they commit more crimes than white people). Now that a conviction is no longer grounds for disqualification, this law could go a long way to help these communities combat record levels of unemployment. Certainly this can be seen as a step in the right direction.

If for some reason you feel that you have been wrongly denied a job then you can contact the EEOC and they will let you know what your next steps will be.

Kristen Bright is the social media consultant for Instant CheckmateInstant Checkmate is a personal criminal background check provider, and does not perform employment screening of any kind.

 

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SeeMail iPhone App Revolutionizes Photo Sharing and Social Media

 

Author’s note: this is something I’m not sure I would use all that often, but I did check it out and it works pretty well. Might be fun for parties, weddings, family reunion type things. I guess if you want a still photograph, instead of just an iPhone movie this would be the app.  I look forward to their adding a few more social media platforms.

LOS ANGELES, CA (August 23, 2012) — A revolutionary new iPhone app for photo sharing called SeeMail allows users to add voice notes to photographs and is now nominated for the prestigious iMedia Next Wave Start-Up Challenge competition. No other app has ever blended photos, captions, locations, and audio like SeeMail. SeeMail is not another endless stream of photo sharing. SeeMail is personal, intimate, beautiful, fun and easy and brings storytelling to social media. iMedia’s Next Wave’s competition focus is on highlighting early-stage technology companies redefining the mobile marketing industry. SeeMail was chosen from a pool of hundreds, as determined by iMedia’s Next Wave Advisory Board to participate in Phase III, (community voting) of the Challenge and voting can be completed online at http://www.imediaconnection.com/iMediaLists/2012/breakthrough-next-wave/mobile-entertainment/SeeMail/.

How it works: SeeMail creates a unique style of mobile message inspired by the idea of sharing the story behind the photo

1) Choose a new photo, or select from your library or Facebook albums
2) Record a SeeMail AudioT.ag™ – just tap the record button and record your voice or anything going on around you
3) Add a caption to your photo
4) Postmark your current location – powered by FourSquare
5) Share privately with your SeeMail friends

6) Share publicly with Facebook and Twitter

7) Play and share SeeMail on the web

 

SeeMail 1.4 is now poised as the next social media powerhouse. New features include:

Facebook Sharing: Some moments need to be shared quickly.  So now you can share a SeeMail to Facebook, even if you do not share directly to another SeeMail user.  So, you can public post a SeeMail without sending it directly to another person.

Twitter Sharing: By popular demand, you can now share your SeeMail’s to your Twitter account. If you have multiple twitter accounts set up on your iPhone, you can share it to multiple twitter accounts at the same time from inside the app.

Full Web Experience: Every SeeMail that you share to Facebook or Twitter will automatically populate to your personal SeeMail Web page.

Try It Out Feature:It’s a great way for new users to experience the app without logging into Facebook.  View a welcome message and compose your own SeeMail to be sure it’s right for you.

SeeMail can be downloaded for free at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/seemail/id429509393 and additional information can be found at www.seemail.com.

 

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Using Chat Sites as Viral Marketing

 

It helps to create a better brand awareness. In case of websites, it drives more online users to the portal. The literal meaning of viral is word of mouth, but when used in unison with modern internet technology and social media, it means huge, actually colossal. Chatting has been immensely popular ever since its inception. Adept internet marketers craftily used this technology for effective marketing.

Chatting and creating customized chat rooms

Chatting rooms are always buzzing with members and guests. Understanding and analyzing, which rooms, your target audience are situated is vital. If you don’t find any suitable room, create a room for this purpose. No one likes to chat about selling/buying and no one would be interested to know what your product/service is all about. You have to connect with your chatting partners. For example: If you are selling gaming consoles, try and name the chat room after online gaming.

Share inspiring video clips

According to top-notch internet marketing consultants, the art of growing business through chat media is not easy. It has to be planned and implemented to perfection. Do all these perfectly and success is guaranteed. Honest interaction with your audience is the top-most priority. After you have maintained a trustworthy relation with your unseen or potential customers, you can use video clips to further your marketing message. Nothing is remembered more or nothing entertains better than videos. You can have videos creatively made that speak about the latest products or about the company’s reach or a video tutorial that simplifies procedures for your consumers.

Create a troubleshooting platform for chat rooms

A brilliant marketing idea is to create a chat service on your own website. Using the latest technology, host an online seminar on your preferred topic. Convert the chat room into a troubleshooting ground; meet your consumers, pay an attentive ear to what they have to suggest or complain. You can append some interesting online events in your chat room that totally engages them. Also, make it point to provide them a prior intimation of the event.

Combine online viral marketing and traditional viral marketing

This viral marketing may time to gather online consumers. Wherever you chat with your prospective clients, request your chatting partner to spread a word about the respective product/service. This is the best form of online viral marketing fused with the traditional viral marketing, which made David Ogilvy an advertising genius. In this way, you are assured of multiplied online users with whom you interact via chat and events. And the other sector of offline consumers that will also increase slowly, but surely.

Pinterest and chatting to grow businesses A famous social site-

Pinterest hit 10 million US unique monthly users; this is faster than any independent website. Unlike other social websites, they allow to share photographs, videos only. Their goal: Join their members if you have to share any interests with them; But still many medium size businesses are making handsome profits through Pinterest. Isn’t chatting for viral marketing the same’? Think about it.

Written by Julieth, Visit Mezeechat is a great tool for chat online.

 

 

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What Is Consumer Social Networking and How It Can Benefit Your Business

Consumer social networking is harnessing the variety of social media available so consumers can determine the usefulness and value of a product. Not a few have turned to this sort of information sourcing to gather the whats and hows of a product. The reason largely lies on the strength of market feedback and the personalized touch seen in exclusive pages, which give consumers details they don’t normally receive in most other product ads. All income brackets and both genders participate in social consuming with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and Myspace taking their roles as leaders of this trend. With the vast market at their disposal and the efficiency with which they can reach out to this audience, businesses have much to gain from plumbing the potential of consumer social networking.

Expanded Customer Service

Customers are the fuel of any enterprise and social networks have done an extraordinary job in bringing together people from different walks of life, living locally and abroad, into one portal. Consumer social networking lets consumers address their questions and concerns about a product or service and lets the business respond timely in return. The range of feedback also gives the business a sampling of their market, providing the business leverage in knowing where to improve on and which of their marketing strategy works.

Advising Customers About New Products and Services

Reading a Twitter message doesn’t take 10 seconds but the site is popular enough to get a message across to a group who know another group and another group ad infinitum. A business web page can also be streamlined to highlight the freshest products and services it has to offer to its followers and possibly to others who are interested in its latest outing or teaser. Social networking sites gives businesses a platform to list down their advantages over competitors and highlight facets of the product that consumers are looking for.

A Way to Reward Consumers

Taking customer service a step further, businesses can use consumer social networking to reward customers who have been loyal to their products. Through specials or loyalty programs, businesses can attract more customers and keep the existing ones satisfied as they get to own not just their initial buy but more than what they expected. If they tell their friends and families about how cool a brand is for that, the better.

Introducing a Product Through Different Media

By using social networking sites, businesses can advertise products from photos to videos to write-ups. The additional feedback contributed by consumers adds to the knowledge of potential customers who might be looking for more reasons to convince them to finally purchase.

There are various ways to introduce a product and get in touch with customers but not every one of them may be effective. One way businesses can learn about this aspect is through consumer social networking which serves both a way to relate with customers and advertise a product. By taking advantage of this trend, businesses not only level with the customers but also share the good points of their product in more ways than one.

Julian Hartley is a social media consultant for one of the top talent management firm, DianliC.com.

 

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The toys we have on our iPhones

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Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I have always enjoyed technology but find something new every day. In writing my grocery list I noticed that my notepad on my iPhone has speech recognition software. Thinking myself very clever I composed a short note on my notepad and cut it and pasted it into a text message to send to my wife. Having thought this absolutely wonderful are you then cut a note and started to pasted into my WordPress blog. Much to my surprise I found that the blog site also house Word recognition software. Our iPhones grand.

You have to go through and edit some of the translations but generally this saves an immense amount of time. Especially if you are trying to type on an iPhone, I am no where as good as my kids are at that.

I always enjoyed writing blogs, but sometimes the act of typing takes longer than it takes for a thought to get out of my mouth.

With my new discovery I can speak as quickly as the thoughts enter my head and record them at the same time. People sitting next to me on the train might think I am talking into a robotic device but then after all I guess I am. This entire blog was my first attempt and written entirely on speech recognition software from an iPhone 4 ain’t excuse me. There have been no editing at all so excuse some of the grammar and misspellings but all in all I think this is a very valuable tool.

 

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The Significance of Lead Scoring in Marketing Automation

Marketing automation platforms – those that allow ‘dripped’ marketing by email, text message or another form of contact – have become incredibly popular as more consumers integrate the internet into their daily lives.

What is ‘Lead Scoring’?

Lead scoring refers to the process of choosing how close a lead is to purchasing based on where they are in the prospect cycle. For instance, if a prospect visits a website and spends two or three minutes browsing around before entering their email address into a form and leaving, they would likely score very low. Conversely, a prospect that has clicked through from a marketing email, browsed an online shop and added items to a shopping cart is likely very close to making a purchase, and would score much higher.

Motivating the Prospect to Take Action

Lead scoring is the best way to make marketing automation software work with high efficiency. Leads that are already close to purchasing or have made a purchase in the past are going to be turned off if they receive marketing material directed at cold prospects and brand new leads. By using a multi-step marketing campaign, leads can be coaxed to higher and higher scores and eventually converted when they are ready to purchase or end up making an impulse buy. Leverage marketing automation software to continually provide more and more motivation for the prospect to respond, and they will take action accordingly.

Creating a Long-Term Conversion Plan

The vast majority of prospects won’t convert the first or second time they are contacted. As a matter of fact, research suggests that prospects – especially those being contacted via email – may take up to ten or more contact points before they are converted into paying customers. This is where marketing automation software comes in handy; these automation platforms never forget about a prospect, and can be set to contact them with new content indefinitely. Invest the time and resources in creating a long-term contact and conversion plan for your prospects and with a few tweaks along the way it is sure to pay off.

Without a doubt, modern marketing automation software platforms offer marketers the ability to connect with leads and prospective customers far better than has been possible in the past. As long as campaigns are planned, executed, analyzed and optimized for improvement, there are few better ways to market to leads generated online.

John is a small business owner, and contributing writer for Aprimo marketing software.

 

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Why Flash and Animated Websites Can Be Bad for Business

by Chris Bolton

Click to View Animated Gif

I love special effects, video games, and Sci-Fi movies. But I can’t stand a slow-loading animated website when I’m trying to accomplish a purpose. If I’m trying to get some information or buy a product, I want the shortest distance between my mouse and my goal. This is why Flash websites can sometimes do more damage than good. Sure, you’ve got a goldfish swimming behind the article you’re trying to read and fireworks following every move of the cursor–that’s a nifty trick–but I can’t read anything on the site, and it takes forever for all the graphics to load.

Most people who work in the web-world know that Adobe Flash-based websites have numerous issues. They don’t work on manymobile devices; they load slow; they can’t be read by Google (which means they get poor search engine ranking).

That being said, what if there was a solution that worked better than Flash–something that loaded faster and played nice with Google? Would we all start building websites that snow, sparkle, flip upside down, and make burps when we click buttons?

Well, there are alternatives to Flash these days. HTML5 is the most promising, and as it is more widely adopted, you will see more websites with HTML5 animation. But this is where I think we need to pause . . .

Just because we have these tools doesn’t mean we should run out and start dousing our sites in animated menus, dancing puppies, and scrolling banners.

Here are 5 reasons I think you should think twice before creating a website that relies heavily on any kind of animated effects.

1. Shiny/Flashy/Moving Things are Distracting

Things that blink, buzz, and whir serve a good purpose. There is a reason why we have traffic signs that blink, sirens that scream, and alarm clocks that buzz. These things are designed to tear our attention away from whatever we were trying to do in the first place and PAY ATTENTION. This is never a pleasant experience. Ambulance sirens scare the hell out of me, but I’m generally forgiving because they are serving a public good. If your website starts screaming, talking, spinning, or blinking, it might just scare the hell out of me as well. But my reaction will not be so forgiving. In fact I will never go to your website again.

2. Slow Load Time

Even if you have super-fast internet, your fans and customers may not. You’ve got about 2 seconds to engage your audience before they click onto the next thing. Loading excess animations and video will slow down your site load time. Also, putting a video or song on your website is great, but don’t make it auto-play. If your visitor wants to watch or listen, they will push play and they will usually wait a reasonable about of time for it to load. But most users like to choose whether to watch a video or not.

3. Animations Often Force an Experience

The internet is full of options. People like options. If a fancy animation loads when you land on a website, you are forced to watch it before you can go on to what you were trying to accomplish. The perfect example of this is a “splash page.” This is a page that loads prior to landing on a homepage and usually features some kind of animation or ad. Now if I’m trying to locate a concert date, buy your eBook, or perform any other transaction on your site, a splash page serves a s a barrier between your site and my intended action. If I’m on a mobile phone it could break your website completely.

4. Inconsistent Mobile and Tablet Experiences

More and more people are using phones and tablets to access the internet and leaving their desktops to gather dust. Creating animations that work well on a big screen and a tiny phone screen is a tough challenge and it often fails. The best mobile experience, in my opinion, is a simple one. I’m usually in transit when I use my phone and I want my information fast. Ask yourself what you want people to do on your website and make that super easy to do on any device.

5. Search Ranking

Search engines, like Google, are great at reading text. They are not-so-great at reading images and animations. Sure, HTML5 will be easier for Google to handle then flash, but because of the potential for keyword stuffing and hidden text, words that are embedded in images will probably not be given the same weight as text on the page.

All this being said, I love special effects and animation and there are some awesome interactive websites that are exceptions to the rule because they are designed as a novelty or a multimedia experience. But if you’re trying to grow your fan base and readership and sell some merchandise, you don’t need special effects. You just need a great-looking website that is easy to use.

 

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